March is on for Nevada Day Parade organizers

With the celebration still three months away, Ron Bowman and Kevin Ray stand over a large war-room table in the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau and busily discuss strategy for what promises to be the biggest Nevada Day Parade in the event's 67-year history.

The theme of this year's parade: "The Wild West."

Applications to participate in the parade are going out this week.

"It's an all-encompassing theme," says Bowman, president of the Nevada Day Board, the 99 percent volunteer force responsible for the planning, coordination and operation of the festival's events.

And a fitting one for this year's grand marshal, KOLO-TV reporter and one-man Western, John Tyson.

"Considering the theme, we think it's right that we have a real cowboy lead the way," says Bowman.

The parade officially starts with the boom of a vintage World War I cannon on Oct. 29 at 10 a.m., but as the two explain, the festivities have grown way beyond the bounds of a single square on the calendar.

"The event is rapidly growing from Nevada Day to Nevada Week," says Ray, the marketing directory. "This year's celebration actually kicks off the Saturday before the parade with the annual Ghost Walk along the Kit Carson Trail."

"Our goal is to have something happening every day of that week," says Bowman.

Thus begins the annual celebration of the Silver State's birth into statehood that goes on to include such Nevada Day classics as the beard contest, a military fly-by, the RSVP carnival, the Battle Born Invitational golf tournament, a run/walk, a world-championship rock-drilling contest and an annual chili feed.

The event creates the single-largest economic impact for Carson City, according to Bowman, who says he expects up to 40,000 revelers at the parade, the largest of its kind in the country.

The pair say that while plans are running on schedule, the group is always looking to secure more local sponsorship to help pay for the $65,000 it costs to stage the event and still need to find someone to support the RSVP carnival's annual fireworks show.

"Nevada Day celebrates the local and state community coming together," says Ray. "As a nonprofit group we count on the support of local businesses and have lots of cross-promotion opportunities in turn to give the sponsors. The benefits are obvious."

"If you've never been to a Nevada Day, you have no idea what you're missing," says Ray. "You've really have got to come out to see it."

n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.

Celebrate Nevada

What: "Nevada Day Presents: The Wild West"

When: Parade starts 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29

For more info, sponsorship information or parade applications: Call 882-2600 or go to

For hotel reservations: 1-800-NEVADA-1 or


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